Intrepid Journey – A Perspective on the Changing Role of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand
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This thesis traces the changing role of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand society from their migration in large numbers in the 1960s through to the current year. It explores the way in which Pacific people have been represented to New Zealanders by certain stakeholders and uses the framing theory to explore the frames created and their subsequent affects on society. There has been a growing amount of discussion on and interpretation of the media’s coverage of ethnic minorities both internationally and within a national context. This thesis will cite examples of the New Zealand media’s early depiction of Pacific people, exploring their early reporting practices and show how this has evolved within the country’s major media institutions – mainstream newspaper and television. In recent years New Zealand has undergone a transformation that has seen the Euro-centric identity and values less prominent and a growing celebration of New Zealand’s multi-cultural diversity, particularly in the Pacific domain. This thesis explores this ‘Pacificness’, arguing this has emerged through a reinvigorated Pacific identity that has evolved as a result of the changing dynamic of New Zealand society. Finally this thesis discusses the way in which Pacific Islanders are now more visible in two specific domains; sports and arts, and how this visibility has manifested itself into very commercial elements as cited in the two case studies examined.